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K-State Today

September 18, 2013

Friday seminar to feature expert on mitogen-activated protein kinases

Submitted by Marcia Locke

Melanie Cobb, the Jane and Bill Browing Jr. professor in the pharmacology department at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, will present "MAPKs as Mediators of Nutrient Signals" at 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27, in 120 Ackert Hall.

Cobb was the first person to molecularly characterize mitogen-activated protein kinases, or MAPKs, critical regulators of such cellular events as proliferation, differentiation, homeostasis, motility and apoptosis. Her elucidation of MAPK cascades provides insight into the development of novel antineoplastic drugs.

At the seminar, she will discuss nutrient sensing in pancreatic beta cells and cancer cells and the importance of ERK1/2 MAPKs in those systems. The kinases regulate nutrient-dependent insulin gene transcription and are often used as markers of nutrient responses in beta cells and obviously are Ras targets in cancer.

Coffee and cookies will be served immediately preceding the seminar in 225 Ackert Hall.

Cobb's visit is cosponsored by the Division of Biology, the University Distinguished Professors Group and the Johnson Cancer Research Center.